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  •  December 23, 2012, 08:17 PM

    in·doc·tri·nate  in·doc·tri·nat·ed, in·doc·tri·nat·ing, in·doc·tri·nates

    (1) To instruct in a body of doctrine or principles.
    (2) To imbue with a partisan or ideological point of view.

    The Prophet Muhammad said, “No babe is born but upon Fitra (as a Muslim). It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist.”  (Sahih Muslim, Book 033)

    I remember I must have been 4 or 5 years old  going to Madressa and being able to read Surah Fatiha perfectly which made the Mu'Alim very happy and my parents very proud. I was able to read all Arabic words and I was content and happy seeing my parents this proud of me. It did not matter that I did not understand what I was reading, I only did it to make my parents happy.

    Fast forward 30 odd years and here I am thinking fuck I believed every thing I was told as a kid. I believed in the boogey man under my bed, that till today I sleep with my head covered or with some sort of light entering the room. I was so convinced that there were ghosts etc that I would imagine my bed moving, someone holding me so I cannot breathe. Now I know it is not true and what I experience is called the Placebo Effect.

    Why am I writing all of this?

    Because from as early as I can remember religion has been drilled into me, if not by my parents sending me to Muslim school and taking me to mosque, then by the teachers that taught me.

    Being taught in an Islamic institution is being taught with a whip.

    For every false recital there was a beating mostly in the form of falakah (being beaten on the soles of your feet). I remember being beaten with a PVC pipe (the type that electricians use to run wires through) until it broke and blood was pouring from my bottom because I was caught talking to a female.

    This is how Islam was drilled into me. This is what I call indoctrination.

    Day in and day out you are made to believe that what you are being taught is right and those who do not follow the same are following a set of false doctrines. Yet people who are not 'lucky' enough to be born into Islam are being taught day in and day out that their beliefs are correct and we are following a set of false doctrines.

    If you go by the Hadith quoted at the beginning of the post, we are all born Muslim and parents are responsible for giving the kids an alternate religion.

    Unfortunately, I can no longer think that that be true, I believe strongly we are born without any religion and our parents, together with our families, educators and communities shape our belief and I refuse to be part of that mould any longer.

    No longer am I going to force my child to go to an religious institution so she can be indoctrinated. She will learn that there are many religions out there when she is old enough she can choose whether she will follow her parents faith. She will learn to be a moral citizen.

    You are going to get the apologist out there that says, I follow (insert religion) because I want to not because it was the way I was brought up, the way I was brought up has no bearing on the religion I am following now.

    Yeah right, the way you were brought up defines every fibre of you and your belief.

    Lets say, if you brought up in a different religion, can you honestly say you would be following your current religion? If yes, I applaud you.

    The inspiration for this post was something I read on another blog*:
    "Islamic apologists say there is no compulsion in Islam. However, if you’re a child born to Muslim parents and in to a strict culture with Islamic ideology, the religion is compulsory for you because your situation demands it. You have no choice but to accept it. It is compulsory because if you refuse it, you become an outcast. You will face resistance from your parents and then from the community. This resistance can even take shape in the form of real physical abuse and threat."

    *Quote from Thinking Smurf -A Culturally Inherited Faith

    To comment on this article, please reply in this topic: Indoctrination and Islam

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  •  December 19, 2012, 03:21 PM

    There has been something of a controversy in the last few days.

    An advertising campaign of billboards at a number of London railway stations, organised by a group called the Quran Project, and offering free Qur'ans in English to commuters, has become a rallying point for activists after some of the posters were taken down.

    A commenter on Reddit explains the affair in more detail.

    Following numerous requests for the English translation of The Quran from non muslims who have seen the Billboards at the Major London Railway Stations and 5 Shahadas at Victoria Station on Saturday, Network Rail and Chiltern Railways began to order our billboards to be removed on the grounds of no religious advertising on their premises despite allowing other faith groups to carry out similar campaigns in a move which can only be seen as clearly discriminatory.

    It appears that the English Translation of The Quran is a book too controversial for them to allow to be advertised on their premises. However, we know that "...And God is the best of planners." [Quran 8:30]

    By trying to remove the billboards this has created a massive movement on social media in support of the billboard campaign and bought more attention on The Quran itself, which can only be a good thing God willing!

    After receiving large numbers of complaints against the hypocrisy and discriminatory behavior of the rail-stations, the stations have now allowed the project to continue until the 24th of December, and the interest for the Qur'an has only grown more as a result.

    Verily, Allaah is the best of planners.

    Unless some contractual rules were violated, the decision to remove the posters was utterly egregious.

    If it is the case that other religions have advertised on billboards in the same manner, there is no just cause for non-offensive Islamic posters to be removed from these hoardings.

    On a wider issue, we wonder if it was complaints from members of the public which may have resulted in the billboards being removed.

    As Ex-Muslims, we often find ourselves being censored in a similar manner, and for this reason, and for the principles of freedom of conscience and freedom of expression, we support the decision of the company to re-instate the billboards.

    We hope that this affair can help to spark a debate about matters of freedom of expression and religion in the UK, and we hope that finding common ground on these matters can help to advance the cause of Ex-Muslims, when they too find themselves confronted with issues of censorship, and curtailment of their freedom of conscience and expression.

    This may, for example, involve a critical engagement with the claims made by the Qur'an Project in regard to the truth claims of Islam. In a secular society, such critical engagement is vital.

    We hope that Muslims who campaigned against this unfair decision to remove the Quran Project billboards can join with us in having this debate, and supporting the free expression of ex-Muslims in the future.

    To comment on this article, please reply in this topic: The Quran Project Billboards Removal - An Opportunity For Common Ground
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  •  December 17, 2012, 10:27 PM
    A question that comes up with some regularity is: "Why do you identify yourselves as Ex-Muslims?"

    It is a good question, because the answer explains so much about the need for the voice of Ex-Muslims to be heard.

    To begin with, the simple fact is that Ex-Muslims face issues that few dissenters from other religions face. The immensity of the taboo against leaving and critiquing Islam means that Ex-Muslims are bullied, intimidated, threatened, ostracised and persecuted for their conscience.

    Whilst in many Muslim countries this is enforced by laws, even in secular western countries Ex-Muslims face real fear when they leave Islam. For speaking out, Ex-Muslims are subject to violent threats including, not infrequently, death threats.

    Harassment, marginalisation, bullying and guilt shaming are other common practices. Ex-Muslims want to show other doubters and rejecters of Islam that it is possible to leave the religion: that despite the pressures and coercions of family and community, and despite the demonisation and intimidation of apostates by orthodox Islam, leaving Islam is achievable and morally and ethically positive.

    So, Ex-Muslims need a common space to discuss issues they face. But why does Islam judge those who leave it so harshly?

    Yusuf al-Qaradawi, considered by many to be the leading Sunni scholar and a senior voice of al-Azhar seminary in Cairo, categorises Apostasy from Islam in two ways - minor and major.

    Minor apostasy is leaving Islam but not doing anything to criticise Islam. An apostate like this should be allowed to repent.

    Major apostasy is leaving Islam, and drawing attention to your apostasy by criticising Islam and freely discussing your free conscience. For this, the apostate deserves to be killed.

    It is true that some Muslim theologians dissent from this interpretation, but it is also true that the benchmark of this ruling sets a tone. That makes leaving Islam, and speaking freely on the reasons why, an act of unspeakable heresy with frightening social and personal consequences. That this benchmark hangs in the air is,  in its own right, enough to stifle dissent.

    Even many supposed moderate Muslims observe this demarcation between minor and major apostasy. Tariq Ramadan has said:

    “My point of view, a minority point of view in historical terms but justified in religious to recognise the right, but to ask of those who change their religion what one asks of all human beings: ‘Change your soul and your conscience, but do not insult or cause prejudice to those whom you leave behind. Wherever you go, whoever it is you forsake, leave them in a noble and dignified manner.”

    In other words, you can leave Islam without talking about it (minor apostasy), but don’t freely express your conscience regarding why you left Islam (major apostasy).

    Instead of threatening death, Tariq Ramadan couches this apostasy taboo in the language of contemporary multiculturalism and anti-racism, suggesting that to leave Islam and discuss the reasons for doing so is akin ‘causing prejudice’ to Muslims.

    Here comes the most striking reason why the Ex-Muslim voice needs to be heard. Whilst many Muslims believe that leaving and criticising Islam is the breaking of an omerta code so outrageous that it warrants bullying, persecution, threat and a morally justifiable death taboo, others express the Ex-Muslim free conscience as constituting an offence against Muslims through the criticism of Islamic ideas and beliefs.

    However, Islam is a proselytising religion that seeks to expand through evangelism. Every other religion that is liberal enough to allow for free conscience is ripe to be targeted for converts to Islam - but Islam considers that leaving Islam itself is a mortal sin.

    At the heart of this is a central hypocrisy – the notion that Muslims must be free to criticise all other belief systems and religions and seek to convert others to Islam, whilst stifling and snuffing out the free conscience of those who would leave Islam and express their free conscience openly.

    This is not acceptable in contemporary liberal and secular societies. It is a double standard that is menacing in its hypocrisy.

    So ultimately, Ex-Muslims self identify as such because of the unique issues that they face in expressing their free conscience. They also identify this way because breaking the taboo against criticising Islam, in the face of Islamic hypocrisy and double standards on this matter, is much needed.

    Under these circumstances, asking the question "Why don’t you be quiet and just leave Islam?" can be seen for what it is – an attempt to de-legitimise the voice of ex-Muslims ( “You’re obsessed” “You need to see a psychologist” ) through belittling their experiences and conscience, emanating from the same impulse that deems leaving and criticising Islam to be the great, unspeakable, mortal sin of ‘major’ apostasy.

    Big oaks grow from little acorns. Even if the experiences of Ex-Muslims are marginalised today, that can change only if apostates speak out. Most importantly, future generations will be able to see a path out of Islam that has been cleared by the articulated experiences and sympathy of those who, around the world, have walked this path.

    That is why ‘Ex-Muslim’ is just one of the many multiple identities that apostates from Islam use to freely express themselves: because free conscience should never be snuffed out by religious taboos against heresy.

    Because bullying should never be allowed to prevail.

    To comment on this article, please reply in this topic: Why Do You Self Identity As Ex-Muslim?
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  •  December 17, 2012, 08:25 PM

    Emel Magazine is a lifestyle publication aimed at British Muslims.

    It is a glossy and attractive production, which positions itself at the forefront of modern Muslim British identity, suggesting a way for Islam in Britain to exist in a ‘lifestyle’ niche, just one more spiritual path amongst many. It would not look out of place on the magazine stand next to the latest edition of ‘Yoga Monthly’ or any other number of sedate periodicals. The design and appearance of the magazine does not promote a sense of hard religiosity. Overall, the feel of the magazine is positive, promoting Islam in a benign manner, and as such, it seems to be a progressive contribution to Islam in Britain.

    Which makes it all the more alarming to see the December 2012 edition of Emel. The magazine has a feature commemorating fifty years of the establishment of the British branch of the UK Islamic Mission, a movement that is effectively a sub-branch of the Jamat-e-Islami. The J-e-I is an Islamist party that originated in colonial India, and became institutionalised in the UK with the immigration of Muslims from Pakistan. It is a highly influential ideological group.

    But it is far from progressive. Its instincts are deeply reactionary – startlingly at odds with the kind of liberal, forward thinking version of Islam that Emel seems committed to projecting.

    In many ways, this sums up a central tension at the heart of Islam in Britain today. How do you escape the influence of highly reactionary Islamist ideology, and if you cannot escape it, how can you complain about Islam being viewed as inimical to progressive culture when you uncritically promote institutions that advance reactionary Islamism in Britain?

    The UKIM describe themselves thus:

    "UKIM is not only an organization trying to serve the Muslim community, but it is also an ideological movement, It aims to mould the entire human life according to Allah’s revealed Guidance, following the life example of His last Messenger, Mohammed (peace and blessings of Allah he upon him)"

    Emel features an interview with a gentleman called Zia Ul Haq, who devotes himself to community work with the UK Islamic Mission:

    Q. Which people do you admire the most and why?

    A.  One of the main personalities I admire is that of Sayyid Mawdudi. The work in establishing a movement put in by Mawdudi and the most beautiful and comprehensive treasure of literature he left, are a source of practical guidance for any Muslim .  The time and effort that he put into research of historical facts, which were then presented with such accuracy, is truly admirable. Yet now we struggle to find the time to read it all.

    It is truly astonishing that a magazine that seems to position itself as a leading light of progressive Islam in Britain should uncritically promote Sayyid Mawdudi.

    Abul A’la Mawdudi is, along with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Syed Qutb and Hassan al-Banna (the grandfather of Tariq Ramadan), the most influential Islamist ideologue of the twentieth century. Many would say his influence exceeds that of all other fathers of modern Islamism.

    His ideology was supremacist, intolerant, ultra-reactionary, bigoted, violent, misogynist and as inimical to liberalism, secularism, pluralism and tolerant, progressive values as it is possible to be. Mawdudi’s ideology can only be described as belonging to the extremist far-right of the political spectrum. So why does Emel find a place for his disciples in their pages?

    Let us begin with what Mawdudi believed should be done to ex Muslims and apostates from Islam. They should be killed:

    “To everyone acquainted with Islamic Law, it is no secret that according to Islam, the punishment for a Muslim who turns to kufr (infidelity, blasphemy) is execution. Doubt about this matter first arose among Muslims during the final portion of the 19th century as a result of speculation. Otherwise, for the full twelve centuries prior to that time, the total Muslim community remained unanimous about it. The whole of our religious literature clearly testifies that ambiguity about the matter of the apostate's execution never existed among Muslims....”

    (From The Punishment of the Apostate according to Islamic Law by Abul Ala Mawdudi)

    In his book ‘Jihad in Islam’ Mawdudi says:

    “Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam regardless of the country or the Nation which rules it.....Islam requires the earth—not just a portion, but the whole planet—not because the sovereignty over the earth should be wrested from one nation or several nations and vested in one particular nation, but because the entire mankind should benefit from the ideology and welfare programme or what would be truer to say from ‘Islam’ which is the programme of well-being for all humanity.

    Islamic Jihad is both offensive and defensive at one and the same time. It is offensive because the Muslim Party assaults the rule of an opposing ideology and it is defensive because the Muslim Party is constrained to capture state power in order to arrest the principles of Islam in space-time forces is imperative for the Muslim Party for reasons of both general welfare of humanity and self-defence that it should not rest content with establishing the Islamic System of Government in one territory alone, but to extend the sway of Islamic System all around as far as its resources can carry it.

    In his book “Let Us Be Muslims”, Mawdudi describes how Muslims cannot co-exist with non-Muslims, and how adultery should be punishable by by stoning to death:

    “Human well-being and happiness, therefore, will only come about by attacking the evil afflicting society at its roots, that is, by getting rid of all powers based on rebellion against the laws of God. If people are free to commit adultery, no amount of sermons will stop them. But if governments forbid adultery, people will find it easier to give up this evil practice.

    You know what severe punishment Islam has prescribed for adultery – one hundred strokes on the bare back. The very thought makes a person shudder. And if a married person is involved, the punishment is stoning to death – one trembles at the very mention of such terrible punishment”

    What does Allah’s sovereignty imply? That His writ must run supreme in the world: legal judgements must be based on His Shari’ah, the police must operate according to His commandments, financial transactions must be carried out in conformity with His laws, taxes must be levied as directed by Him and spent as specified by Him, the Civil Service and the army must obey His code, people must devote their abilities, capacities, and efforts to fulfilling His desires. Further, Allah alone must be feared, His subjects must submit to Him only, and man must not serve anyone but Him. Unless the Kingdom of God is established, these objectives cannot be realized. How can Allah’s Din accept to co-exist with any other Din, when no other Din admits of such partnership? Like every other Din, Allah’s Din, too, demands that all authority should genuinely and exclusively be vested in it. If it is not, the Din of Islam will not be there, and it will be futile to pretend that it is.

    In “Towards Understanding the Quran”, Mawdudi describes what a Muslim’s attitude towards non Muslims should be, as well as what should be done to disobedient women – they should be beaten:

    “This aim (of Islamic warfare) has two aspects– the negative and the positive. On the negative side, the aim of war is to abolish (fitnah), and on the positive, it is to establish Allah’s Way completely and in its entirety. This is the only objective for which it is lawful, nay, obligatory for the believers to fight.

    If the wife is defiant and does not obey her husband or does not guard his rights, three measures have been mentioned, but it does not mean that all the three are to be taken at one and the same time. Though these have been permitted, they are to be administered with a sense of proportion according to the nature and extent of the offense. If a mere light admonition proves effective, there is no need to resort to a severer step. As to a beating, the Holy Prophet allowed it very reluctantly and even then did not like it. But the fact is that there are certain women who do not mend their ways without a beating. In such a case, the Holy Prophet has instructed that she would not be beaten on the face, or cruelly, or with anything which might leave a mark on the body.

    The second reason why Jihad should be waged against them is that they did not adopt the Law sent down by Allah through His Messenger. (Humiliation/reduction in status) is the aim of Jihad with the Jews and the Christians and it is not to force them to become Muslims and adopt the `Islamic Way of Life.’ They should be forced to pay Jizyah in order to put an end to their independence and supremacy so that they should not remain rulers and sovereigns in the land. These powers should be wrested from them by the followers of the true Faith, who should assume the sovereignty and lead others towards the Right Way, while they (Jews and Christians) should become their subjects and pay jizyah.

    Mawdudi further explains in this book what the attitude towards women should be:

    There must be someone as the head of the family so that discipline may be maintained. Islam gives this position to the husband and in this way makes the family a well disciplined primary unit of civilisation and a model for society at large. The head of the family has responsibilities. It is his duty to work, and do all those tasks which are performed outside the household. Woman has been freed from all activities outside the household so that she may devote herself fully to duties in the home and in the rearing of her children – the future guardians of the nation. Women have been ordered to remain in their houses and discharge the responsibilities assigned to them. Islam does not want to tax them doubly: to bring up their children and maintain the household, as well as to earn a living and do outdoor jobs would be a clear injustice. Islam, therefore, effects a functional division of labour between the sexes. But this does not mean that the woman is not allowed to leave the house at all. She is, when necessary. The law has specified the home as her special field of work and has stressed that she should attend to the improvement of home life. Whenever she has to go out, certain formalities should be observed.

    To preserve the moral life of the nation and to safeguard the evolution of society on healthy lines, free mingling of the sexes has been prohibited. Islam effects a functional distribution between the sexes and sets different spheres of activity for both of them. Women should in the main devote themselves to household duties in their homes and men should attend to their jobs in the socio-economic spheres. Outside the pale of the nearest relations between whom marriage is forbidden men and women have been asked not to mix freely with each other and if they do have to have contact with each other they should do so with purdah. When women have to go out of their homes, they should wear simple dress and be properly veiled. They should also cover their faces and hands as a normal course. Only in genuine necessity can they unveil, and they must re-cover as soon as possible.

    These quotes are genuinely disturbing for anyone who believes in a tolerant, pluralist progressive, liberal society.

    That they are taken from the ideological Godfather of the Jamat-e-Islami and UK Islamic Mission is  depressing.

    That the organisations and activists that promote the world view of this figure are essentially whitewashed and given a platform by a magazine that ostensibly seems to be attuned to the aspiration of the good society is utterly dispiriting.

    Emel magazine should be confronting, scrutinising and repudiating the ideology promoted by the UK Islamic Mission for many reasons.

    • Because it is rooted in the bigotry and intolerance of Mawdudi.
    • Because if you seek to guard against prejudice towards Muslims or negative stereotyping of Islam you are ethically compromised if you in any way white wash the ideology of supremacism and intolerance of Mawdudi and institutions inspired by him in the UK.
    • Because not doing so corrodes trust between Muslims and non Muslims. If you promote Islam as tolerant and peaceful, when you fail to repudiate, and in fact tacitly whitewash intolerant ideology like Mawdudi and the UK Islamic Mission, you appear to be either dissimulating or not telling the truth.
    • Because misogyny needs to be confronted within the Muslim community and promoting Mawdudi inspired institutions  that propagate the misogynistic precepts he expounded is shameful.
    • Because if you wish to promote Islam as a religion that people can convert to, in a society in which freedom of conscience is absolute, promoting institutions that glorify a man who wrote about how those who leave Islam should be killed, makes Islam seem hypocritically menacing. Ex Muslims in Britain should no longer have to tolerate the propagation of such a figure unquestioningly.

    Had a non Muslim said that Islam promotes the kinds of things that Mawdudi writes about, he would most likely be declared an Islamophobe and a bigot. When a highly influential Islamic institution like the UKIM promotes his teachings, and this is further given a sugar coated platform by a magazine that should be opposed to these values, what do we call it?


    To comment on this article, please reply in this topic: The UK Islamic Mission, Mawdudi and Emel Magazine
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  •  December 17, 2012, 08:12 PM

    When we first started using Twitter as a medium to promote our forum and our ideas, we tweeted a few prominent journalists to enquire as to whether they could consider supporting us. One of the journalists, Mehdi Hasan, who writes for the Guardian, New Statesmen and Huffington Post, and appears on the BBC and Al Jazeera, responded as follows:

    Image url is broken

    Mehdi Hasan has in the past written in support of ex-Muslims being persecuted for leaving Islam, so it was quite sad to receive this response.

    In a 2011 report produced by the Council of Ex-Muslims and One Law For All titled 'Enemies Not Allies', the bigotry, threats, violent rhetoric and anti-Muslim hatred of groups like the EDL was highlighted. It also described how they used concerns over extreme interpretations of Islam and the desire by some Islamists to institute forms of sharia arbitration courts in Britain to demonise all Muslims and foment an atmosphere of collective hatred.

    The Forum of Ex-Muslims saw the EDL for exactly what it is from the moment it was born. In 2009 the EDL started its campaigning and were given short shrift by ex-Muslims on our boards. The attitude of collective guilt and punishment radiates from the rhetoric and assumptions of the EDL. Innocent Muslims and non Muslims felt intimidated and frightened by the aggression and demonisation that was their defining character. They made the atmosphere of society worse – both provoking a fearfulness in Muslims and emboldening Islamists and Salafis who posited their aggression as a useful threat to increase their own righteous power. Tensions in cities escalated as a result.

    So you can understand how absurd and dismissive it is to be likened to this bigoted firm of hooligans.

    But it was not surprising.

    Accusing ex-Muslim voices critical of Islam as being motivated by Islamophobia and 'EDL-esque' hate is today a standard reflex amongst many to the free expression of ex-Muslim conscience. And it isn't just some Muslims who seek to use this line of ad hominem to essentially render criticism of Islam as being in and of itself a form of bigoted hate speech. Its often a reflex response amongst non Muslim liberals too.

    Ex-Muslims believe that there are aspects of Islam that like any religion need to be scrutinised and criticised. To assert this is not to say that Islam is 'evil'. It is to say that Islam is a man made religion created at a certain time and place in history that requires certain beliefs and precepts to change to make it compatible with modernity, liberal ideas and free conscience. To describe Islam as 'evil' is to utilise the rhetoric of religion itself – to engage in a simplistic way of thinking.

    Religions are products of societies – and just as societies can change, so can religions. Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism have all had reformist movements that sought to change aspects of belief and dogma inimical to what reformists believed was just and truthful in modern times.

    And religious change includes ending blasphemy taboos, notions of heresy, the persecution and demonisation of apostates, and theological assent to the idea that those who leave a religion and criticise it deserve to have violence or death inflicted on them.

    Describing Ex-Muslim critique in this way is to try to impose, effectively, a new kind of blasphemy taboo against criticism of Islam by associating it with bigotry and hate speech.

    Ex-Muslims understand profoundly the agenda of bigoted far-right organisations. To try to stifle the free conscience of ex-Muslims in this manner is not just unfair, it is perverse.

    People from the Forum of Ex-Muslims make criticisms of aspects of Islam from within an inclusive, secular, universalist cosmopolitan tradition that utterly rejects the parochial simplicities and demonisations of nationalism. As such any group or ideology that projects collective guilt narratives is inimical to it. In fact for this reason the far-right EDL stands beside the far-right Islamists and Salafis in the target of this critical vision.

    Ex-Muslims are situated, in many ways, in a treacherous position.

    Not only do Islamists wish to silence their voices, but so do some moderate Muslims.

    Parts of the Left are frightened to support apostates, fearing the response of Muslims and accusations of Islamophobia, whilst others on the Left sympathetic to general Islamist sentiment are actively hostile to the expression of free conscience by ex-Muslims.

    The far-right nationalists either view ex-Muslims through the prism of racial/ethnic nationalism, or as individuals who, in their secular cosmopolitanism and inherent repulsion to the collective guilt projection they indulge in, are not obedient or malleable enough to serve their politics.

    From this treacherous position comes perspective though.

    For example, secular Ex-Muslims are able to see how the unchallenged ideology of Salafis and Islamists, so often given a free pass in the name of 'multiculturalism', hiding behind accusations that critiquing them is 'Islamophobic', not only feeds into the system and opposition of far-right nationalism, but also how these ideological rigidities mirror and need each other.

    So we know that a failure to subject Islam in its political form as well as its theology has resonances beyond the persecution faced by apostates.

    Some might call the perspective that ex-Muslims have on these issues a curse – but in reality it is a blessing.

    Ex-Muslims see too much, understand too much, know too much, and that is why they seem to cause so much disquiet.

    But conscience never sits still and never stays silent. Despite the multiple layers of distortion thrown at ex-Muslims, and the competing agendas that seek to co-opt or snuff out their voice, that voice is only going to gradually, steadily grow louder.

    The question will become not of what ex-Muslims must do to make themselves heard, but how those who are disquieted by what they say can respond with dignity and honesty in a manner that does not end up making them complicit in the marginalisations, and various chauvinisms at play around Islam from both within the religion, and externally to it, across the political spectrum of Left and Right.

    This is the profound disturbance and introspection that free conscience causes.

    It is why the ex-Muslim voice is, ultimately, irresistible.

    To comment on this article, please reply in this topic: Ex-Muslims and the EDL-esque Idea That Islam Is Evil
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